The Mass Participations Sports Organisers (MSO) today celebrated the return of mass participation sports events outdoors as the government confirmed that England will move into Step 4 from 19 July.

This gives the green light for the return of the most famous mass participation outdoor running events across the country and MSO members, including the organisers of the London Marathon, parkrun, the Great North Run, Brighton Marathon, the ASICS London 10K, London Landmarks Half Marathon, The Vitality Big Half, Manchester Marathon and This Mum Runs, have worked together to plan protocols and operational solutions that ensure the safe return of mass participation events outdoors.

Hugh Brasher, Event Director of London Marathon Events, said: “It is wonderful to confirm that our great mass participation events are returning across the country. Extensive scientific research worldwide has shown that the risk of transmission of Covid-19 outdoors is negligible. The UK’s event organisers have worked together to ensure the safe return of mass participation sports events outdoors by participating in the government’s Events Research Programme and collaborating on a range of protocols that ensure our events will be safe and Covid-secure.”

Paul Foster, CEO of the Great Run Company, said: “Our events inspire people of all ages and abilities to get active, which is so important for both physical and mental health. Participants in the MSO’s calendar of events generate more than £250 million every year for charities and these funds are so desperately needed now, as the services of charities are vital to support vulnerable members of society.”

Nick Pearson, CEO of parkrun Global, said: “The work of MSO has ensured our much-loved events can return and we invite everyone to take part – join your local parkrun, enter one of the nation’s iconic events and think about raising funds for the charity of your choice. We can’t wait to welcome back our parkrun family on 24 July.”

The MSO has worked with Run Britain, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and Sport England to agree protocols that ensure mass participation outdoor events can be held safely.

Over the coming months, the MSO event calendar includes:

20 July: Standard Chartered Great City Race

21 July: return of This Mum Runs community runs

24 July: return of parkrun in England

25 July: ASICS London 10K

1 August: London Landmarks Half Marathon

8 August: return of Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life and Pretty Muddy events

22 August: The Vitality Big Half

5 September: London Summer Run

12 September: Great North Run

12 September: Brighton Marathon

26 September: Hackney Half

3 October: Virgin Money London Marathon

10 October: Royal Parks Half Marathon

10 October: Manchester Marathon

17 October: Oxford Half

The Standard Chartered Great City Race, a corporate 5K challenge that takes place in the City of London, will be the first event to be held on closed roads in the capital since the pandemic hit in March 2020.